Hay wastage can wind up costing you a significant amount of money in the long term. Horses are notorious for pulling more hay out of the flake or roll than they can eat in one bite. The excess hay falls onto the floor and then gets trampled into the ground or wasted when your horse uses the bathroom on top of it. Building a simple hay manger can help you save hay and money over the long term.
Measure both of the 6-foot-long boards into three individual 2-foot-long sections using the measuring tape and then cut them using the saw. You should wind up with a total of six individual 2-foot-long sections of board. Cut the ends of each of these boards at a 45-degree angle using the saw. Measure the 12-foot-long board into three individual 4-foot-long sections. Cut those sections apart using the saw.
Create a "V" shape by placing one of the 4-foot-long sections of board on the ground with its narrow side facing the ground. Attach two of the 2-foot-long sections of board to each side of your long board. Since the ends of the short boards are cut at an angle, they will create a "V" shape on either side of the long board. Hammer 2 nails into each individual section, placing them roughly 1 inch apart.
Nail the remaining pair of 4-foot-long boards lengthwise, going flat across the top of the "V"-shaped base to create a solid "V" and the basic frame of your feeder. Place 2 nails in each end of each board where the short boards meet the long ones. Your nails should be approximately 1 inch apart. Fasten the remaining pair of 2-foot-long boards across the top of the "V" on either side of the hay feeder to create a triangle using four more nails, with one nail on each side of the short boards.
Place the nylon mesh on the inside of the two sides of the feeder (not across the top) and secure the mesh to the sides of the feeder using the U-shaped fencing nails. Stretch the mesh securely from side to side, and then top to bottom before you trim away the excess fabric with scissors. Leave the top open so you can put the hay into the feeder through it.
Position the feeder against a flat wall, roughly 5 feet off the ground. Attach the hay feeder to the wall, using eight nails, so that one of the sides of the "V" is flat against the wall, leaving the top (uncovered) area facing the roof of your barn. Place two nails on either end of the top long board and the bottom long board of the side of the feeder that is touching the wall.
- You can replace the nylon mesh with wire, but you should be aware that wire can break and injure your horse as he tries to eat.
Jen Davis has been writing since 2004. She has served as a newspaper reporter and her freelance articles have appeared in magazines such as "Horses Incorporated," "The Paisley Pony" and "Alabama Living." Davis earned her Bachelor of Arts in communication with a concentration in journalism from Berry College in Rome, Ga.